Great Employees = Passionate Consumers

Companies spend millions of dollars each year identifying their brand, and then communicating their brand promise through various media.

Employees are the primary "media" in the majority of brand contacts. Raise your hand if you think a majority of your employees understand your brand promise well enough to live it and articulate it clearly.

Gallup research of 300,000 businesses indicates that 75% to 80% of your people are achieving much less and feeling far less enthusiastic about their work than they could be. If all your employees were "fully engaged," Gallup says your customers would be 70% more loyal, your turnover would drop by 70%, and your profits would jump 40%.

The research also found that consumers who felt fast food restaurant employees did a great job were five to six times more likely to come back to that brand. At banks where employees stood out, the customer was six to 20 times more likely to continue the relationship.

Additionally, great employees also tend to engender "passionate" customers. For example, customers who praised store-level associates were 16 times more likely to be passionate about the retailer's brand.

My analogy is this: drop a pebble into a pond and the largest splash occurs at the point of contact and then radiates outward in circles. The point of contact, from a branding perspective, is inside your company. Get employees on board from an emotional perspective and they carry their passion out to the next circle: customers. Passionate customers carry it beyond to prospects through word-of-mouth.

Communicate your brand position with your employees, and unleash some passionate financial results.

Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover Ink PR. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Focus Four, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, TeamHeidi, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, Verbatim and Youth Link USA.

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